How to Change the Fuel Filter on Hyundai Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Your Hyundai car fuel filter is located inside the gas tank along with the fuel pump. It performs a very important function by filtering rust and dirt from your vehicle's fuel. Unfiltered fuel often contains contaminants like paint chips, which can build up and damage your vehicle's fuel pump and fuel injectors through repeated scraping and grating. If your vehicle shows signs of sputtering and stalling, you can be sure that your fuel filter needs replacing. If the fuel filter replacement does not significantly change the stalling problem, then you will most likely need to replace the fuel pump as well. Your fuel filter can be accessed through a door behind the back seat. As such, you can easily change the fuel filter yourself, which will save you the money you would normally spend on a mechanic.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Fuel Filter on a Hyundai Tucson

Locate the fuse panel under the hood of your vehicle, then open it and remove the fuel pump fuse with your hands.

Start your car and allow the fuel system to depressurize by allowing the car to idle until the engine dies.

Reinstall the fuse, then disconnect the battery with a ratchet and socket. Drain the gas from the gas tank with a siphoning kit.

Remove the back seat by unbolting the base with a ratchet and socket and lifting the seat out with your hands. The bolts are located on either side of the seat near the base. You will also need the assistance of another person to lift the seat out safely.

Remove the wiring harness by gently pulling it from the connector, and detach the rubber grommet with a flat head screwdriver. Unbolt the fuel tank cover with a ratchet and socket, remove it with your hands, pull the wires through the grommet, detach the fuel line hoses with a fuel-line disconnect tool, and lift the hoses out. Cap the hoses with rubber hose plugs.

Reach directly into the gas tank, then remove the fuel filter using two adjustable wrenches, placing one on either side of the fuel filter. You will recognize the fuel filter by its filtering paper cartridges.

Install the new filter, then follow the previous steps in reverse to complete the installation. Refill your gas take when finished.

Items you will need

  • Fuel-line disconnect tool

  • Rag

  • New gasket

  • New fuel pump

  • Flat head screwdriver

  • Ratchet and socket

  • The assistance of a friend (only when you are ready to remove the back seat)

  • Rubber hose plugs

  • Two adjustable wrenches

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter in a 2003 Hyundai Elantra

Open the hood and locate the relay box near the driver's side fender well. Remove the cover. Find the fuel pump relay, using the diagram on the underside of the relay box cover. Pull the fuel pump relay out of its socket and set it aside. Start the Elantra and let it run until it stalls.

Raise the rear of the vehicle with the floor jack. Support it with jack stands. Clean the lines at the filter with a rag. Loosen the clamps on both sides of the fuel filter and remove the fuel filter from its bracket, using a socket or wrench.

Install the new fuel filter, making sure the arrow is pointing forward, and tighten the bolts to 20 foot-pounds of torque. Attach the lines on both sides of the fuel filter. Reinstall the fuel pump relay. Start the Elantra and check for leaks around the fuel filter area.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Set of wrenches

  • Set of sockets

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter on a 2001 Elantra

Take the rear seats out of your car by using the 3/8-inch ratchet and 12mm socket. Your fuel system is located under these seats, so you will want to completely remove them from your car so that they are not in the way.

Remove the panel clip on the floor of the car using a flathead screwdriver. It should easily release so that the floor board can be lifted to access the fuel system.

Unlatch the fuel system's harness. Doing this allows you to open the fuel tank access lid.

Release the pressure in your fuel system by starting your car and allowing it to run until the engine stops on its own. This step is vitally important for safety reasons; you don't want fuel spewing out at you during the removal process.

Disconnect your negative battery cable under the hood of your car. This will prevent any sparks or start-ups that could result in injury.

Press the tabs on both sides of the fuel line, simultaneously. Some fuel will escape, so be sure to keep your shop rags handy.

Squeeze the hose clamp on the fuel line by grabbing it firmly with the needle-nose pliers. You will then be able to gently unplug the hose from the filter.

Remove the screws connected to the fuel line. There will be eight screws. If they are difficult to remove, the ratchet and socket assembly may work better than a standard screwdriver.

Remove the assembly ring and gasket from the unit. By placing the ring and gasket with the eight screws, re-assembly will move much quicker after the new filter is in place.

Pull the entire fuel unit out of the fuel tank in an upward motion. This will probably also require a slight tilt in order to bring it around the opening of the fuel area. Again, have your shop rags handy for any fuel spillage.

Push the three clips holding the top part of the fuel unit together. This will allow for removal of the assembly lid as well as disconnection of the harness.

Remove the bracket with a screwdriver or pliers. When the bracket is off, the assembly can be pulled apart. The hose can remain attached, as it will mount onto your new filter.

Pull the two clips while removing the fuel filter. You will need the plastic washers, rings, and cap on the new fuel filter. Hyundai's new filters are not equipped with these items, but the car will not start if the unit is not re-assembled properly. Place the white washer inside the new filter first, then the black ring, followed by another white washer, and then the last black ring. Cap the original lid back on to close the unit.

Place the unit back into the brackets in the fuel assembly location. The unit should fit directly into place the way it was before the new fuel filter was installed.

Re-attach all screws, lids, compartments and seats in the opposite manner that they were removed. Be sure that everything is properly secured in place before putting the seats back onto the floor.

Turn your ignition key as an attempt to start your car in five second intervals. This will allow the fuel to re-pump through the fuel system. After several tries, your car should start and your fuel filter replacement is successful.

Items you will need

  • New Elantra fuel filter

  • Shop rags

  • Safety goggles

  • Petroleum-resistant gloves

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/4-inch drive ratchet

  • Sockets: 12mm and 8mm

  • 10mm Wrench

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Drip pan

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter in a 2005 Hyundai Elantra

Open the rear doors on the 2005 Hyundai Elantra and locate the two main connector bolts that hold each rear seat in place. The two bolts are located under the front part of each rear seat. Remove the four bolts with a 3/8 inch ratchet and a 12mm socket. Turn the bolts counter-clockwise to loosen and remove the bolts. Slide the rear seats out of the seat compartment. Then slide the rear seats out of the car.

Locate the clip in the center of the floor under where the seat was sitting. This clip holds the fuel tank access lid panel in place. Pry this clip up with a flat head screwdriver. Pull the carpet away from the panel. Pull the fuel tank access lid panel off of the top of the fuel tank. Slide one end of the rubber part of the access lid up and then keep working your way around the rubber part of the access lid until you are able to pull the access lid off. Be careful because there is a wire connector underneath the access lid that is connected to the top of the gas tank.

Unhook the wiring harness that is underneath the access lid from the connector on top of the gas tank. Set the access lid to the side.

Unscrew the gas cap from the gas tank to relieve the pressure from the fuel lines and the fuel filter. This is called "depressurising" the fuel system. This can also be done by removing the battery cable, but it is faster and easier to relieve the pressure by unscrewing the gas cap from the gas tank and you get the same results.

Remove the big fuel line from the top of the gas tank with pliers. Squeeze the tabs on the metal clamp inward and slide the metal clamp down the fuel line. Then slide the fuel line off of the plastic fuel line port. Lay the fuel line on a rag to catch any excess gas.

Remove the small fuel line on top of the gas tank with the pliers also. Squeeze the tabs inward on the metal clamp and slide the clamp down the fuel line. Then slide the fuel line off of the plastic fuel line port. Also, lay the fuel line on a rag to catch any excess gas.

Remove the eight bolts that are holding the top round portion of the fuel assembly lid. Using a Phillips head screwdriver, turn these small bolts counter-clockwise to loosen and remove the bolts from the lid. Once the small bolts are out of the lid, slide the lid off of the fuel assembly along with the lid gasket and set them both to the side with the bolts so they do not get lost.

Lay clean rags all around the base of the fuel assembly. Pull straight up on the center of the fuel assembly. Once you get the fuel assembly 3 to 4 inches up, you will have to angle the fuel assembly to get it out of the hole. This is where the rags come in handy because gas will spill off of the fuel assembly when you angle it out. Finish angling the fuel assembly out of the top of the gas tank and lay it on the rags.

Unhook the three clips that hold the top part of the fuel assembly to the bottom part. Then pull the top part of the fuel assembly away from the bottom part. Then unhook the main harness that holds the top and bottom parts together.

Pry off the metal bracket that holds the filter unit in place with a flat head screwdriver. The metal bracket has a fuel line coming out of the end of it. Remove the fuel filter unit with the fuel line still attached to the metal bracket by pulling the unit straight out of the fuel assembly. Lay the filter unit and the fuel line to the side of the top part of the fuel assembly.

Pull back on the two clips that are connecting the fuel filter to the top of the fuel assembly. Pull out on the fuel filter as you are pulling back on the two clips and the fuel filter will come out of the hole. Remove the two plastic washers, the two rubber o-rings and the cap from the old fuel filter because the new fuel filter does not come equipped with these must have items. Remember how these items come off of the old filter so you can properly transfer them to the new fuel filter.

Transfer the two plastic washers, the two rubber o-rings and the plastic cap onto the new fuel filter assembly. Push the new filter into place inside of the fuel assembly. Push the metal bracket back in place over the top of the fuel filter.

Hook the wiring harness inside of the fuel assembly back up and reattach the top and bottom portions together. The two pieces will snap together. Make sure that the fuel tube aligns up with the plastic cap before snapping the two pieces together.

Slide the assembly back into the gas tank. Put the lid ring back around the top of the fuel assembly. Screw the eight bolts back in place and tighten them down with the phillips head screwdriver. Then slide the two two fuel lines back onto the two fuel line ports on top of the fuel assembly. Squeeze the clamps down and slide them back over the fuel line and the port. Release the clamp so that it can properly tighten the fuel line to the fuel port.

Reconnect the main harness on the bottom of the fuel assembly access lid to the top of the fuel assembly unit on top of the gas tank. Then slide the rubber seal of the access lid back in place so that the access panel is completely sealed around the access hole. Lay the carpet back in place over the fuel assembly access lid.

Slide the seats back in and reinsert the bolts and tighten them back down. Screw the gas cap back on the gas tank. Turn the ignition key on and off three different times to prime and fill the fuel assembly back up with gas. Then crank the engine. Job complete.

Items you will need

  • 3/8 inch ratchet

  • 12mm Socket

  • Rags

  • Flat head screwdriver

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • Pliers

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Hyundai Sonata

Remove the rear seat cushion and the access panel. Relieve the fuel system pressure by disconnecting the fuel pump module connector, then starting the engine and letting it run until it stalls. Turn the ignition off.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. Then, attach the fuel pump harness connector. Locate the fuel filter underneath the Sonata near the fuel tank. Disconnect the fuel supply and pressure lines. Remove the fuel filter bracket if your model has one, and then remove the fuel filter.

Install the new fuel filter and torque the mounting bolts to 18 to 25 ft-lbs. Replace the fuel filter bracket, if applicable, and then reattach the fuel supply and fuel pressure lines.

Reattach the negative battery cable. Start the engine of your Hyundai Sonata, check for leaks, and fix any you find.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • New fuel filter

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Hyundai Santa Fe

Read the owner's manual. The Santa Fe's fuel filter is in the gas tank. You need to remove the lines from the tank in order to replace the fuel filter.

Find the fuel pump fuse in the fuse box of the Santa Fe. You need to relieve the pressure in your fuel system so gas doesn't spray all over when you disconnect the hoses.

Get two open-ended wrenches that fit the fuel tank's fittings. You have to disconnect the supply line, the vent line and the fuel line from the tank.

Turn the clamp screw around the old filter to release it and put a new fuel filter in its place.

Adjust the fittings with new washers on both sides of the fuel filter. Tighten the clamp around the new filter, reattach the three hoses/lines to the fuel tank and insert the fuel pump fuse before you start your car.

Address any issues with the fuel tank before you reattach it to the Santa Fe. Check for rust and cracks on the straps, clamps and lines.

Install a new fuel filter regularly. Your owner's manual will tell you how often to change it for optimal performance of the Santa Fe. Now start your car.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver set

  • Open-end wrench set

  • New fuel filter

  • Cleaning rags

  • Safety goggles

About the Author

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